In order to meet the current and future needs of the water sector a continuous development of skills and leadership of the Young Water Professionals is required. Six years ago it was therefore decided to start up the Young Water Professionals (YWP) movement in the Benelux. This movement is supported by the International Water Association (IWA). 

There is no hard and fast definition of a YWP, however as a guide, the YWP movement is most relevant to those under the age of approximately 35 years, those with up to 10 years of water sector experience across all disciplines (regardless of credentials) or those “young at heart”. The IWA Benelux Young Water Professionals Regional Committee wants to support this movement and is therefore setting up YWP network activities and services. The main objective of this movement is to support the Benelux Young Water Professionals in their growth towards future leadership. 

To achieve this goal, the YWP Benelux use different internet fora, and organize workshops and a biannual conference. All these activities, as far as possible, are organized in an informal setting, and are aimed at following objectives:

  • to create a dialogue between young people in the water sector, leading to close and long-lasting relations within the sector
  • to bring young people into contact with older, more established professionals, to enhance knowledge and skill transfer
  • to bring young people in touch with potential future employers in the water sector, in an informal way
  • capacity-building for young people by organizing skill-building sessions

The strength of the YWP Benelux organization is especially its over-arching Benelux character, which leads to refreshing insights by mixing different water cultures.

As stated, one of the activities of the YWP Benelux is the organization of a biannual Conference. The first Conference was held in 2009 in Eindhoven (The Netherlands), the second was held in 2011 in Leuven (Belgium) and the third was held in 2013 in Belval (Luxembourg). The 2015 conference took place in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands again. This event provides an international forum for students, young researchers and professionals working in the water sector to present their work and meet their peers from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. 

Have a look at the website for the presentations of the key-note speakers of the third edition and for updates on activities: http://www.biomath.ugent.be/YWP_BENELUX_2011/

Stay in touch ywp@iwahq.org  
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